President Trump gave one governor a late Christmas surprise. On Tuesday, Trump gave Alaska Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy his complete endorsement; however, there is one stipulation to Trump’s endorsement.
Trump gave Gov. Dunleavy his complete endorsement, but in return, Dunleavy cannot back Trump’s most vocal Republican critic, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. In Trump’s endorsement, the 45th president stated Dunleavy has been a strong conservative who is very consistent.
However, Trump went on to say his endorsement only comes at the cost of Dunleavy refusing to give his endorsement to Senator Lisa Murkowski; Trump went on record saying she “is horrible for Alaska.”
Trump went on to say Murkowski is responsible for Alaska’s drilling site closings, which cost hundreds of jobs.
President Donald J. Trump:
"Mike Dunleavy has been a strong and consistent Conservative since his time in the Alaska State Senate. I was proud to endorse his first run for Governor, and I am proud to support his reelection, too. From his handling of the virus, support… pic.twitter.com/728rO0eFnT
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) December 28, 2021
Murkowski and Trump’s Riff
There was no bad blood between Murkowski and Trump until 2017, when Murkowski decided to vote with Democrats and refused to support a Republican backed bill which sought to appeal Obamacare.
Just a short while after she refused to appeal Obamacare, Murkowski once again decided to vote with Democrats and oppose Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.
Those two decisions were just the tip of the iceberg between Trump and Murkowski’s conflict, though. What really distanced Trump’s favor toward Murkowski is when she voted to impeach him in January for “inciting violence” at the Capitol building.
The moment Murkowski decided to use her vote to impeach Trump was the moment her re-election chances became more challenging; Trump has since called out Murkowski on several occasions and labeled her a RINO.
Trump Endorses Murkowski’s Challenger
Instead of just complaining about Murkowski’s betrayal, Trump got active and immediately gave Murkowski’s Republican challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, his endorsement.
Trump also allocated some of his 2020 campaign resources to Tshibaka to make sure nothing gets in the way of Murkowski being dethroned from her Senate seat.
President Donald Trump has issued a "Complete and Total Endorsement" of Gov. Mike Dunleavy, except that it's completely and totally contingent on Dunleavy not endorsing Sen. Lisa Murkowski. pic.twitter.com/epveqKQFq2
— Sean Maguire (@SeanBMaguire) December 28, 2021
In February, Trump is even scheduling a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for Tshibaka’s campaign run. It appears the 2022 primaries will be just as important as the 2024 election; these primaries are expected to uproot any Republican candidate that has sided with Democrats.
Many Alaskans are on the Trump train and will vote according to his word. Murkowski’s biggest opponent will not be Tshibaka, but rather her decision to back Democrats the last four year when the going got tough.
Murkowski did, however, receive more interviews in the mainstream media for her betrayal of Trump, but her five minutes of fame might have cost her a chance of being re-elected.
Murkowski gained her Senate seat after being appointed by her father Frank Murkowski, who resigned from his seat to be the governor instead. So, for Alaskans who have worked for everything they got, Murkowski doesn’t really relate to most voters.